Response to COVID-19 - Bell County Information Updates

Bell County is operating a COVID-19 phone bank to help answer questions within the community.  The number for the phone bank is 254-933-5203.  The phone bank will be staffed from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.  Calls received after hours, weekends and holidays will be answered by 2-1-1.  

FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions 

To validate if a business in considered essential, visit the Texas Division of Emergency Management website.

Seniors age 60 and older impacted by the COVID-19 stay in place order are eligible for meals.  Click Here for more information.

For information on loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, visit the Small Business Administration website.

Visit the Bell County Public Health District website to view an updated list of the number of COVID-19 cases in Bell County.



Emergency Orders related to COVID-19

May 18, 2020.  The next wave of openings from the Governors Open Texas Plan were announced. Child care centers, youth clubs and massage parlors may re-open today. Bars, bingo parlors, bowling alleys, rodeos and zoos may re-open May 22. Professional sports, without in-person spectators, and youth camps may re-open May 31. In addition, restaurants may increase capacity up to 50% starting Friday.

However, opening dates are pushed back by one week in El Paso, Polk, Randall, Moore, Potter and Deaf Smith Counties due to hospital capacity and an increase of cases.

Below you can find the list of openings along with operating guidelines.

       In Effect May 31, 2020


       In Effect May 22, 2020


       Now in Effect as of May 18, 2020


       Effective May 18, 2020




May 7, 2020.
  Governor Abbott issued Executive Order EO-GA-22 which eliminates confinement as a punishment for violating any prior or existing state or local executive order related to COVID-19. The modification is retroactive to April 2nd and supersedes local orders.

In addition, it amends the previous Executive Order GA-21 and retroactively opens cosmetology salons, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons/shops, and other establishments where licensed cosmetologists or barbers practice their trade as of April 2nd.



May 5, 2020.
  Executive Order EO-GA-21 was issued, which allows barbershops, nail salons, hair salons, tanning salons, and swimming pools to re-open at 25 percent capacity on Friday, May 8, 2020. These establishments are required to ensure six feet of social distancing occurs. In addition, guidance documents for both the shop and the customers were provided on the Open Texas website.

Beginning May 18, office buildings may open with the greater of five or less individuals or 25% of the total office workforce. These individuals must maintain appropriate social distancing. Gyms, exercise facilities, and exercise classes may also open at 25% occupancy. Locker rooms and shower facilities will remain closed, but restrooms may open. Non-essential manufacturing services may also open but facilities must limit their occupancy to 25%.

In his press conference, Governor Abbott clarified his previous order included allowing wedding venues to operate at 25 percent capacity. Weddings held indoors other than at a church, congregation, or house of worship must limit occupancy to 25%. Wedding reception services may also resume, but facilities must limit their occupancy to 25% of the total listed occupancy. These occupancy limits do not apply to the outdoor areas of a wedding reception or to outdoor wedding receptions. He also clarified that the 25 percent capacity constraint for restaurants applies to indoor seating only and not outdoor seating.

The Governors Executive Orders EO-GA-21 and EO-GA-22 are below.  In addition, the website “Open Texas” has been updated that includes guidance on re-opening businesses and other facilities.


 


Bell County/Bell County Public Health District  Press Conferences, Documents and News Releases


CISA Guidance - Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce During COVID-19




County Office Updates


District Courts, County Courts at Law and Justice of the Peace Courts

An Order Extending Prior Administrative Order was signed by Judge Gordon G. Adams on April 28, 2020.  The Bell County District Courts, the Bell County Courts at Law, and the Bell County Justice of the Peace Courts will continue to provide essential functions through June 1, 2020.  This Order Extending Prior Administrative Order includes the suspension of all jury trials through July 1, 2020.  Click Here to view the Administrative Order.

Examples of essential functions include criminal magistration proceedings, CPS removal hearings, temporary restraining orders/temporary injunctions, juvenile detention hearings, and family violence protective orders.



County Clerk

In keeping with local, state and federal Disaster Declarations, the Bell County Clerk’s Office will continue to utilize the Continuity of Operations Plan put in place in March.  We will continue to be closed to the public as long as these Directives are in place; and will do our best to serve the citizens of Bell County while continuing precautionary measures.  Here is a link to our Continuity of Operations Plan:   Continuity of Operations Plan

The Bell County Clerk’s Office will still be operating by answering phones and emails, processing e-files for judicial cases, e-recording for property records, electronic registration of birth and death records, and all mail, fax and email search requests.

While we realize  there will be exceptions, every attempt to limit face to face transactions will be made. Certain transactions will be processed by appointment only. These appointments will be restricted to only the party or parties involved. We ask that you please do not bring in children. If you are sick, recently exposed to anyone who is sick or show signs of being sick, please do not attempt to make a physical appearance in our office. Each request for an appointment will be screened for immediate need and will be decided on a case by case basis.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding to protect the employees and their families.



District Clerk

Due to the ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Bell County District Clerk’s Office has implemented a few changes, effective immediately.  It is our hope and plan to remain open to continue to serve the citizens of Bell County; however, the health of the employees and their families is certainly a priority of mine.  It is my goal to eliminate as much public contact and traffic in and out of our office as possible; therefore, I am asking each of you to comply with the following temporary guidelines.
To view the complete Public Notice click here.

Until Further Notice
For the safety of our staff and the Public, effective immediately, the Bell County District Clerk's Office is closed to the public.
However, our office remains fully staffed to accommodate your needs.
For service pick-up, please contact 933-5196 to make arrangements.
We apologize for any inconvenience.



Tax Assessor-
Collector

In the interest of public health, we have provided the following alternative options in lieu of face-to-face transactions in the Bell County Tax Office.

Click here for online and by-mail instructions on common Tax Office transactions.

In an effort to reduce the need for in-person transactions, Governor Abbott issued a statement on March 16, 2020, granting a temporary extension to obtain initial registration, renewal of registration, vehicle titling, and renewal of a permanent disabled parking placard. Governor Abbott also granted a temporary extension for an individual with an expired 30-day temporary permit to obtain another permit or Texas registration. This temporary waiver is in effect until 60 days after TxDMV notifies the public that normal vehicle registration, vehicle titling and related services have resumed.

You may still go online to www.txdmv.gov and renew your registration online.

What this means is your registration is still due, but you have more time to get it renewed without worrying about getting a ticket for expired registration. When the Governor and TxDMV give the “All Clear”, you will have 60 days from that point to complete your renewals without penalties.

Belton, Fort Hood, Killeen and Temple offices are currently open by appointment only.  Click Here to go to the Bell County Tax Assessor-Collectors Webpage to make an appointment. 



Fire Marshal

Due to the recent Bell County COVID19 Action Plan upgrade to Level 3 and the recent CDC and TDSHS modified guidelines surrounding the COVID19 pandemic, the Bell County Fire Marshal's Office will be suspending ALL inspections and public education activities until further notice.   Click Here to view the updated operations plan. 

The following activities have not been suspended and will continue:

  • Fire investigations
  • Plan reviews
  • Investigation of complaints


The Bell County Fire Marshal's Office strives to ensure the safety of our citizens, visitors, and employees is met through effective education and enforcement.  Our daily operations may be modified at any time depending on further information released by the CDC, TDSHS and Bell County Officials.

We ask for your continued patience and apologize for any incurred in convenience.

Court at Law 1

Beginning March 19, 2020 and continuing until May 31, 2020, the County Court at Law No. 1 has implemented Temporary Changes regarding the Civil Docket, and the Probate, Guardianship and Mental Illness Hearings.  Click on the Administrative Order below to view the changes.